“Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.

– Isaiah 55:2

Each one of us has some unique purpose in life, and God has given us three tools to use to fulfill that destiny — a soul, a mind, and a body. Each one of these entities can only be as healthy as its nourishment. If you do not nourish your soul with meditation, your mind with education and your body with nutrition, you will not be able to continue progressing through this awesome journey of growth and development that we call Life. Avoid meditation and your soul will never be at peace. Avoid reading and learning and opportunities in school or at work will pass you by. Finally, avoid eating healthy foods and your body will become full of disease.

As the above verse is more figurative than literal, it does hold true for all investments in yourself. You must invest time into your soul and mind, and yes — money into eating healthy, nourishing foods.

We must begin to take grocery shopping seriously and choose products that will be better for us in the long term over products that are impulsive purchases. And to be honest, grocery stores make these choices very easy! Conveniently, they put all of the healthy fruits and vegetables together, fish is in another section, while your meats are in another, and aisle 12 is concentrated with cookies, chips and soda. It’s like going to a car lot where all of the high-class new cars are in the showroom, and the used rusty cars are piled together in the back of the lot. We all deserve, and should choose to stay in the showroom.

The argument that I hear when I have made this suggestion to others is that “healthy food is too expensive.” Well, let’s find the truth:

Contrary to popular belief, it can actually cost more to eat badly. In fact, a new government report finds that nutritious foods – such as grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy – typically cost less than items high in saturated fat and added sugars. – USA Today

In addition, healthier foods cause you to feel full quicker, so you eat less food. And you will save money in the long run because unlike the person who chooses unhealthy foods, you will not have to put money towards doctor’s visits and medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases. According to Consumer Reports, 46 percent of Americans take on average 4.1 prescription medications. As far as costs, this averages out to be $723 per year (US 2007 Census). Being sick can also cause you to miss work and lose money that way.

How to Change

Change begins in the grocery store. What you don’t have in your house, you simply won’t eat! Here are a few things you can do to save money on healthier foods:

  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are cheap and don’t spoil. This is the most simple and effective change you can make in your shopping habits.
  • Buy your fresh fruits and fish before you buy any other foods. Make it a habit to allow your healthy food options take the first portion of your budget.
  • Choose fresh foods that are in season — they will be cheaper.
  • Only buy whole wheat grains, including pastas, rice and breads. These foods fill you up quick, so you will eat less, which will also help you lose weight.
  • Don’t buy soda… Ever.
  • Look up recipes and plan your meals and shopping list ahead of time. Site like DrGourmet.com, CookingLight.com, and MayoClinic.com can help you plan.

Be willing to make some changes in your lifestyle. It may be challenging at first, but soon enough you will ask yourself “how did I ever eat that!”